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2018 Language Series: October 27

Save the Date!

The 2018 Language Series will take place on Saturday, October 27 and feature a keynote presentation by Nancy Cloud, Professor Emerita, M.Ed. in TESL Program, Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI. Workshop presenters include Sally Cleaver and Tresa Elguera.

Nancy CloudNancy Cloud serves as Professor Emerita at the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development at Rhode Island College in Providence, Rhode Island where she coordinates the M.Ed. in TESL and Bilingual Endorsement Programs and teaches graduate courses on second language and literacy development. She frequently works with teachers in schools to promote effective instructional practices and responsive curriculum for English Language Learners.  Her most recent publications include Dual Language Instruction from A to Z: Practical Guidance for Teachers and Administrators, with Fred Genesee & Else Hamayan, Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners: A Teacher’s Guide to Research-Based Practices, and Teaching Adolescent English Language Learners: Essential Strategies for Middle and High School, a book written with three exemplary urban teachers of adolescent ELLs.


Workshop presenters include Tresa Elguera, Hannah Ingram, and Yolanda Rodriguez.

Highlights from the 18th Annual Language Series—November 11, 2017

The 18th Annual Language Series was an enriching and engaging experience with five stimulating and information-packed workshops and a lively and interactive keynote by Dr. Detra Price-Dennis on digital literacies. Over 100 participants filled the auditorium, the lobby, and the workshop classrooms with enthusiasm and a willingness to engage in the day’s activities.

"As a first time participant I appreciated the possibility of choosing which sessions to attend because it allowed me to cater the event more towards my professional interests. Specifically, I loved learning more about Sounds in Motion, a program that pairs each sound we make with a physical movement. The short session sparked my interest and I hope to take a full training in the future. Not only will it be beneficial for my young students, but I also think that it will help my pronunciation and understanding of sounds as well. I am planning for more next year!"


Multiliteracies: Exploring Multimodal Pedagogies for Academic Success

NoneLanguage is nuanced, multi-modal and ever-changing. By language, we mean not just words but all the forms in which communication can be represented. In the 21st century innovative pedagogies impact the way we teach using various ways of accessing content that are reflected in multiliteracies. The Language Series 2017 will focus on teaching methods to better engage students in language and content development: not only digital technology but also explorations, music, sounds, block building, and others.

Featuring keynote presentation by Detra Price-Dennis, Ph.D.
Teachers College, Columbia University

Dr. Detra Price-Dennis will lead us in the exploration of this topic in her keynote. Workshops with experienced practitioners and researchers will inspire and engage you through hands-on activities and specific examples. As a participant, you will take away concrete ideas for immediate implementation in your settings.

Come and re-energize your practice by learning from the experts in the field. They will share multiple ways to create and support social and academic language growth in today's diverse educational settings that include ENL’s (English as a new language) learners as well as those who struggle in their native language.

Registration is now closed. Check back for dates to next year's conference.

We thank the NYS Statewide Language Regional Bilingual Education Resource Center (RBERN) at New York University for sponsoring our 2017 Annual Conference with its special support of 20 teachers and student teachers to attend the conference.


Participants will register for two workshops.

  • The classroom as a learning laboratory: Using projects as a tool for language development | José Daniel Sandín - Workshop FULL

    Through photos, videos, anecdotes, and examples, this workshop will model essential practices of the project approach as a multimodal avenue for learning. Students work on relevant and purposeful context-rich projects through collaboration, asking questions, and making choices within a supportive “learning laboratory” classroom. Projects bridge the divide between the classroom and the outside world as students explore, discover, and learn using their senses and joyful creativity. In this hands-on workshop, participants will be i explore Project Time to identify tools and resources that can be applied at any grade level.

    Facilitator: José Daniel Sandín

    NoneJosé Daniel Sandín is a 4th/5th grade Dual Language teacher at Castle Bridge Elementary School in Washington Heights. Previously José taught 4th/5th grade for eight years at Central Park East 1 in East Harlem. For the last three years he has been an educational consultant to the Stichting Katholiek Basisonderwijs cohort of 13 schools in Holland––supporting the development there of project-based learning in schools.

    Formerly trained as an orchestral music composer, José comes to education with the urgency that learning, like music, prefers the individual learner come to its own conclusions in its own time. He believes project work offers the opportunity to represent multiple ways of accessing concepts and the language to express them. His main work focuses on designing, along with his students, a classroom that builds on an emotional coherence that spans from the content studied to the products made to the experience had––and then documenting this work; students use this vehicle to learn as they work in leisure, practice contemplation, and become self-reliant to thrive in a real world setting.

  • Fostering student agency and voice: A critical multiliteracy approach to developing narrative skills | Mimi Rosenberg

    Critical rewriting of familiar stories can be a powerful technique for building a strong sense of agency and voice in upper elementary and middle school students who bring a wide variety of language and literacy experiences. In this workshop, we will look at how a multiliteracies approach to rewriting literature can foster the development of students’ abilities to engage in a critical interrogation of text. Participants will experiment with multimodal materials as they consider how this experience can support students with diverse abilities and challenges by incorporating this approach in their own teaching.

    Facilitator: Mimi Rosenberg

    Mimi came to Bank Street College in 1995 after teaching at Kean College of New Jersey in the Special Education Department there. Prior to teaching in Higher Education, she was a teacher in junior high and high school in the New York City public schools. She majored in Spanish as an undergraduate, and taught English as a foreign language for two years while living in Spain. She had a private practice as a learning specialist for 20 years working with 4th-12th graders and occasionally with adults as well. At Bank Street, she has been a program director of the Childhood General and Special Education Masters programs and is currently the program director for the 7-12 Special Education Secondary Masters program. She teaches courses in communication disorders, language literacy, and social studies curriculum development. She has a deep and abiding interest in issues of equity and access.

  • The Many Languages of Block Building: Creating spaces for emerging literacies through play | Rebecca Burdett - Workshop FULL

    In this workshop, we will discover together how to make the block area a place of greater innovation, communication and community building within the early childhood classroom.  In this hands-on workshop, set in Bank Street's own block areas, we will start at the beginning, thinking about how to create a space that works for every builder; sharing routines that ensure a safe and productive building experience for all, and focusing on the powerful ways that block building supports oral fluency. We'll examine documentation of particularly rich project work in the block area and consider the multiliteracies our ENL students used to construct meaning.

    Facilitator: Rebecca Burdett

    NoneRebecca Burdett (Bank Street College of Education, Studies in Education,'99) has been an early childhood educator for 34 years, working in both public and private schools in NY's Hudson Valley.  She currently teaches Kindergarten in the New Paltz Central School District, and is a Teaching Consultant for the Hudson Valley Writing Project, where she presents on topics such as emergent literacy, block play and place-based nature studies for young children.  Her chapter, "They Thanked the Bear; Then they Ate the Bear: an Integrated Block-Based Curriculum", appears in the book Teaching Kindergarten: Learner Centered Classrooms for the 21st Century.

  • Music as a pathway for learning at every age | Alina Vayner

    In this workshop participants will gain an introductory understanding of why music is important for the growing minds of children and how musical activities in the classroom can support everything from language acquisition to emotional regulation. Participants will also get the tools they need to incorporate music into a wide variety of classroom routines, and they will have the opportunity to design a musical activity to suit the specific needs of the children with whom they work.

    Music is an incredibly complex activity, incorporating various components of the human brain. It is linked to memory, the emotional center of the brain, the motor cortex, and other areas. In the classroom, music can be used to soothe, to excite, to remember, to learn, to transition. The possibilities are endless. Come explore them with us!

    Facilitator: Alina Vaynor

    NoneAlina Vayner, M.S. Ed., is a founding member of Growing Up Green Charter School, where she developed the Music and Movement Curriculum for Grades K-5 with a special emphasis on social-emotional learning. She also launched the school’s first afterschool musical ensemble program. She is now a teacher of Special Education at the Peck Slip School (PS 343), where for the past three years she has developed and implemented a first-grade social-emotional curriculum that promotes greater self-awareness, self-regulation, and problem solving skills. She uses the tools of Life-Space Crisis Intervention, Restorative Classroom Practices, and the Orton-Gillingham Method to implement academic and behavioral intervention for students with special needs in an Integrated Co-Teaching classroom.

  • SOUNDS IN MOTION: Using Body Movements to Train Auditory Perception, Language, and Early Literacy | Stephanie Light Kuhnel

    This workshop is designed to inform classroom teachers, speech-language pathologists, and reading/learning specialists, of a unique, engaging, and effective program that helps early learners from pre-K through first grade acquire phonemic awareness, listening, early literacy, vocabulary, and articulation skills through the use of body movements which are part of the VerboTonal System. The program has been shown to be beneficial to children who are in both regular and special education classes, those who are English Language Learners, students who qualify for Title 1 schools, and older students who are having difficulty learning to read. Beginning in 2015 SOUNDS IN MOTION was selected to be used in 43 elementary schools in the NYC Department of Education in an Early Literacy initiative.

    Facilitator: Stephanie Light Kuhnel

The 17th Annual Language Series Conference— My First Time, Certainly Not My Last

By Carolina Soto

Vibrant, effervescent— people milled about the Bank Street lobby. Anticipation and enthusiasm intertwined with warmth and comfort—  painting the diverse crowd with both splashes of bright color and hushed golden honey hues like translucent watercolor. Trickling into the Tabas Auditorium, we awaited the keynote address.

The pleasure of contemplating and reflecting upon the captivating content presented at Bank Street’s 17th annual Language Series Conference was only surpassed by experiencing the interactions with the kind and multifaceted attendees. Encountering participants who traveled from all over the country specifically to attend the conference was telling. Nanci Bunte de Carvalho, Education Manager of the Children First Program at Venice Family Clinic in California says this is her third or fourth time traveling to New York for the event. She says, “Bank Street is the model for teachers and early childhood professionals who are passionate about what they do. [...] I always feel very energized and moved by the people I meet, the content, and the instructors [at the conference]." 

The Language Series — which this year highlighted: Building on Students’ Linguistic and Cultural Assets for Academic Success— is a brilliant treasure to the Bank Street repertoire and speaks not only to social truths, but to people’s lives...

Read more about last year's Language Series >>